self-organization

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Abstract variation on the theme of life originated in water 3.8 billion years ago
Photo by max5128 on Adobe Stock

Evidence of Intelligent Design in the Origin of Life

Origin-of-life researchers want to explain the origin of the first and presumably simplest — or, at least, minimally complex — living cell. As a result, developments in fields that explicate the nature of unicellular life have historically defined the questions that origin-of-life scenarios must answer. Read More ›
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Fossils in rock
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The Cambrian Explosion

Both Charles Darwin himself and contemporary neo-Darwinists such as Francisco Ayala, Richard Dawkins, and Richard Lewontin acknowledge that biological organisms appear to have been designed by an intelligence. Yet classical Darwinists and contemporary Darwinists alike have argued that what Francisco Ayala calls the “obvious design” of living things is only apparent. As Ayala, a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has explained: “The functional design of organisms and their features would therefore seem to argue for the existence of a designer. It was Darwin’s greatest accomplishment to show that the directive organization of living beings can be explained as the result of a natural process, natural selection, without any need to resort to a Creator or other external agent.”

According to Darwin and his contemporary followers, the mechanism of natural selection acting on random variation is sufficient to explain the origin of those features of life that once seemed to require explanation by reference to an intelligent or purposeful designer. Thus, according to Darwinists, the design hypothesis now represents an unnecessary and un-parsimonious explanation for the complexity and apparent design of living organisms. On these as well as methodological grounds contemporary biologists have generally excluded the design hypothesis from consideration as an explanation for the origin of biological form.

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the tower of Babel
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Who’s Got the Magic?

In criticizing Phillip Johnson’s “intelligent design creationism,” Robert Pennock raises a particularly worrisome legal consequence of Johnson’s view. According to Pennock, Johnson insists “that science admit the reality of supernatural influences in the daily workings of the world.” But what if the same reasoning that Johnson is trying to import into science were adopted in Johnson’s own area of specialization Read More ›

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Sunset over Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, U.S.A.

Designed or Designoid

Richard Dawkins begins climbing Mount Improbable by contrasting two rock formations (Dawkins, 1996). The first is a weathered hillside in Hawaii that, when it is viewed from a certain direction at a certain time of day at a certain time of the year, casts a shadow that has a resemblance to John F. Kennedy. The second is the magnificent Mount Read More ›

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Geyser at Yellowstone
Photo by Ava W at Unsplash

The Origin of Life and the Death of Materialism

Introduction Alfred North Whitehead once said that “when we consider what religion is for mankind and what science is, it is no exaggeration to say that the future course of history depends upon the decision of this generation as to the relations between them.” Whitehead spoke early in this century at a time when most elite intellectuals believed that science Read More ›